US5360209A - Batting training device - Google Patents

Batting training device Download PDF

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Publication number
US5360209A
US5360209A US08/058,456 US5845693A US5360209A US 5360209 A US5360209 A US 5360209A US 5845693 A US5845693 A US 5845693A US 5360209 A US5360209 A US 5360209A
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United States
Prior art keywords
weighted
handle
batter
far
swing
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Expired - Lifetime
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US08/058,456
Inventor
Robert D. Mollica
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MOLLICA Inc
Baseball Marketing Ideas LLC
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Mollica Robert D
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Assigned to BASEBALL MARKETING IDEAS, LLC reassignment BASEBALL MARKETING IDEAS, LLC ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST (SEE DOCUMENT FOR DETAILS). Assignors: MOLLICA, INC.
Assigned to MOLLICA, INC. reassignment MOLLICA, INC. ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST (SEE DOCUMENT FOR DETAILS). Assignors: MOLLICA, ROBERT D.
First worldwide family litigation filed litigation Critical https://patents.darts-ip.com/?family=22016915&utm_source=google_patent&utm_medium=platform_link&utm_campaign=public_patent_search&patent=US5360209(A) "Global patent litigation dataset” by Darts-ip is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
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    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63BAPPARATUS FOR PHYSICAL TRAINING, GYMNASTICS, SWIMMING, CLIMBING, OR FENCING; BALL GAMES; TRAINING EQUIPMENT
    • A63B24/00Electric or electronic controls for exercising apparatus of preceding groups; Controlling or monitoring of exercises, sportive games, training or athletic performances
    • A63B24/0062Monitoring athletic performances, e.g. for determining the work of a user on an exercise apparatus, the completed jogging or cycling distance
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63BAPPARATUS FOR PHYSICAL TRAINING, GYMNASTICS, SWIMMING, CLIMBING, OR FENCING; BALL GAMES; TRAINING EQUIPMENT
    • A63B15/00Clubs for gymnastics or the like, e.g. for swinging exercises
    • A63B15/005Clubs for gymnastics or the like, e.g. for swinging exercises with a weight movable along the longitudinal axis of the club due to centrifugal forces
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63BAPPARATUS FOR PHYSICAL TRAINING, GYMNASTICS, SWIMMING, CLIMBING, OR FENCING; BALL GAMES; TRAINING EQUIPMENT
    • A63B24/00Electric or electronic controls for exercising apparatus of preceding groups; Controlling or monitoring of exercises, sportive games, training or athletic performances
    • A63B24/0062Monitoring athletic performances, e.g. for determining the work of a user on an exercise apparatus, the completed jogging or cycling distance
    • A63B2024/0068Comparison to target or threshold, previous performance or not real time comparison to other individuals
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63BAPPARATUS FOR PHYSICAL TRAINING, GYMNASTICS, SWIMMING, CLIMBING, OR FENCING; BALL GAMES; TRAINING EQUIPMENT
    • A63B2220/00Measuring of physical parameters relating to sporting activity
    • A63B2220/50Force related parameters
    • A63B2220/51Force

Abstract

A batting training device includes a handle and a weighted member movable relative to the handle along a longitudinally extending rod in response to acceleration of the batting training device along a portion of a contact hitting swing so as to provide a visual indication to the batter, and to the batter's trainer, as to when the acceleration is made to occur along the portion of the swing appropriate to contact hitting.

Description

The present invention relates generally to training devices and pertains, more specifically, to a batting training device for training a baseball or softball batter in contact hitting.

Unlike power hitting, in which a bat is swung at a ball with immediate acceleration for high speed so as to gain maximum momentum and great impact upon contact With a pitched ball, contact hitting requires a more controlled swing in which the bat is drawn more slowly toward contact with the ball, with minimal acceleration, and the wrists of the batter are turned just prior to making contact with the ball so as quickly to accelerate, or "snap", the bat for accurate placement of the hit ball. While many training devices have been proposed for increasing proficiency in power hitting, these devices are not suited to learning the controlled swing necessary in contact hitting, and especially in connection with hitting in soft ball play.

The present invention provides a batting training device for training a baseball or softball batter to perform an appropriate contact hitting swing and, as such, attains several objects and advantages, some of which are summarized as follows: Provides a visible indication of the correctness of the batter's swing, observable by both the batter and the batter's trainer, enabling immediate adjustments for expedient training; assists in the accomplishment of an appropriate contact hitting swing for effective training in both hard ball and soft ball play with minimal practice; emulates the appearance and feel of an actual baseball or softball bat for ease of transition from swinging the training device to swinging an actual baseball or softball bat; provides a relatively simple construction which is easy to use and will not intimidate even young trainees and novices; enables economical manufacture for inexpensive construction and widespread use; provides a relatively rugged device capable of reliable performance over an extended service life.

The above objects and advantages, as well as further objects and advantages, are attained by the present invention which may be described briefly as a batting training device for training a batter to perform an accurate contact hitting swing, in which swing the wrists of the batter are turned relative to the arms of the batter for proper acceleration of the batting training device only during that portion of the swing subsequent to the batting training device crossing the center plane of the body of the batter, the batting training device comprising: a handle extending longitudinally along a longitudinal axis, the handle having a configuration generally emulating the handle portion of a conventional bat; a weighted member; and coupling means coupling the weighted member with the handle for visible movement along the longitudinal axis between a near position juxtaposed with the handle and a far position spaced longitudinally away from the near position in the direction extending longitudinally away from the handle such that upon swinging the batting training device through the contact hitting swing, the position of the weighted member relative to the handle is observed visually, enabling adjustment of the swing by the batter to assure that the weighted member moves from the near position toward the far position in response to acceleration of the batting training device only during that portion of the swing appropriate to contact hitting.

The invention will be understood more fully, while still further objects and advantages will become apparent, in the following detailed description of a preferred embodiment of the invention illustrated in the accompanying drawing, in which:

FIG. 1 is a plan view of a batting training device constructed in accordance with the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a plan view similar to FIG. 1, but with a component part in another operating position; and

FIG. 3 is a diagrammatic plan view demonstrating the use of the batting training device.

Referring now to the drawing, and especially to FIGS. 1 and 2 thereof, a batting training device 10 is constructed in accordance with the invention and is seen to include a handle 12 which generally emulates the handle portion of a conventional baseball or softball bat. Handle 12 extends longitudinally along a longitudinal axis H and includes a hand grip 14 to be gripped by a batter in the conventional manner, and a knob 16 at one end of the handle 12.

A weighted member 20 is coupled for movement relative to the handle 12 by coupling means which include a rod 22 secured to the handle 12 so as to be integral with the handle 12, as by a threaded connection at 24. Weighted member 20 preferably has a generally cylindrical configuration, so that training device 10 is made to resemble, somewhat, a traditional baseball or softball bat, and includes a central longitudinal bore 26. Rod 22 passes through bore 26 and is complementary with bore 26 so that weighted member 20 slides freely along rod 22 between a near position adjacent the handle 12, as illustrated in FIG. 1, and a far position spaced longitudinally away from the near position, as seen in FIG. 2.

A stop 28 is integral with the rod 22 adjacent the far position and serves to positively stop weighted member 20 from traveling beyond the far position. The cylindrical configuration of weighted member 20 includes a central axis C, and the bore 26 includes a central axis B. Preferably, the axes H, C and B are aligned coaxially for balanced performance. The longitudinal length L of the weighted member 20 is substantially less than the longitudinal distance between the near and far positions so that the position of the weighted member 20 along the rod 22 is visually apparent at any position of the weighted member 20 along the rod 22. In the illustrated embodiment, the length L of the weighted member 20 is about one-half the distance between the handle 12 and the stop 28. The weight of the weighted member 20 is chosen to attain an optimum indication, and may be varied from device to device in much the same manner as baseball or softball bats of different weights are selected by individual batters.

Turning now to FIG. 3, batting training device 10 is illustrated diagrammatically in a plurality of positions throughout a contact hitting swing. A batter is seen from above and is depicted in phantom at 30, in a stance appropriate for striking a ball generally at the location shown at 32. At the beginning of the swing, the batting practice device 10 is held in an upwardly directed angled orientation, as seen at position 40. The batting practice device 10 then is pulled forward and downwardly though the positions depicted at 42, 44, 46 and 48. During the portion of the swing illustrated by positions 42, 44, 46 and 48 the batting practice device 10 is moved slowly, with little or no acceleration so that weighted member 20 remains in the near position. The knob 16 of the handle 12 follows an almost straight line extending through a central plane P of the batter. This portion of the swing is accomplished with no turning of the wrists of the batter 30 relative to the arms of the batter 30, so that there will be no snapping or whipping of the batting training device 10. The purpose of this portion of the swing in contact hitting is merely to position a bat in the appropriate location for hitting the ball. In contrast, during power hitting, this same portion of the swing is executed at maximum acceleration so as to build up momentum for maximum striking force upon a hit ball.

Upon reaching the central plane P of the batter 30, the batting training device 10 is accelerated relatively quickly, by then turning the wrists of the batter 30 relative to the arms of the batter 30; that is, the wrists are turned to "snap" or whip the batting practice device 10 through a rapid acceleration over the positions depicted at 50, 52, 54, 56 and 58. This turning takes place essentially about the position of knob 16, with little or no displacement of the arms of the batter 30 and little or no translation of the knob 16 as the batting practice device 10 swings through positions 52, 54 and 56. Upon reaching position 58, optimum position and impact have been attained for hitting a ball which ordinarily will be at 32. The appropriate desired rapid acceleration is indicated by movement of the weighted member 20 along the rod 22 from the near position to the far position. Movement of the weighted member 20 is visible and is observed readily by the batter 30. In addition, a batting trainer may observe the movement of the weighted member 20 throughout the swing and advise the batter accordingly. Should the batter 30 accelerate the batting training device by turning the wrists outwardly, away from the batter 30, too early in the swing, that acceleration will be detected immediately by observing movement of the weighted member 20 away from the near position and immediate corrections can be made in the swing. The batter 30 soon learns how to swing with a whipping action at that portion of the swing appropriate for maximum effect in contact hitting. In this manner, the batter 30 becomes proficient in hitting a ball with increased effectiveness and accuracy in placement.

It will be seen that the present invention attains the several objects and advantages summarized above, namely: Provides a visible indication of the correctness of the batter's swing, observable by both the batter and the batter's trainer, enabling immediate adjustments for expedient training; assists in the accomplishment of an appropriate contact hitting swing for effective training with minimal practice; emulates the appearance and feel of an actual baseball or softball bat for ease of transition from swinging the training device to swinging an actual baseball or softball bat; provides a relatively simple construction which is easy to use and will not intimidate even young trainees and novices; enables economical manufacture for inexpensive construction and widespread use; provides a relatively rugged device capable of reliable performance over an extended service life.

It is to be understood that the above detailed description of a preferred embodiment of the invention is provided by way of example only. Various details of design and construction may be modified without departing from the true spirit and scope of the invention, as set forth in the appended claims.

Claims (8)

The embodiments of the invention in which an exclusive property or privilege is claimed are defined as follows:
1. A batting training device for training a batter to perform an accurate contact hitting swing, in which the wrists of the batter are turned relative to the arms of the batter for proper acceleration of the batting training device only during that portion of the swing subsequent to the batting training device crossing the center plane of the body of the batter, the batting training device comprising:
a handle extending longitudinally along a longitudinal axis, the handle having a configuration generally emulating the handle portion of a conventional bat and including a handgrip of sufficient length along the longitudinal axis to be gripped by the batter in a conventional two-hand batting manner;
a weighted member of predetermined weight and dimensions; and
coupling means coupling the weighted member with the handle for visible movement essentially freely along the longitudinal axis at all positions between a near position juxtaposed with the handle and a far position spaced longitudinally away from said near position in the direction extending longitudinally away from the handle, the weight and dimensions of the weighted member being sufficient to emulate the appearance and feel of the conventional bat while enabling said visible movement throughout the entire swing such that upon swinging the batting training device through the contact hitting swing, the position of the weighted member relative to the handle is observed visually, enabling adjustment of the swing by the batter to assure that the weighted member moves from said near position toward said far position in response to acceleration of the batting training device only during that portion of the swing appropriate to contact hitting.
2. The invention of claim 1 wherein the weighted member has a generally cylindrical external configuration including a central axis, the central axis being coaxial with the longitudinal axis.
3. The invention of claim 1 wherein the coupling means includes a rod integral with the handle, and the weighted member is coupled for essentially freely sliding movement along the rod between the near position and the far position.
4. The invention of claim 3 wherein the rod includes a stop adjacent the far position for engagement with the weighted member to positively stop the weighted member upon arrival of the weighted member at the far position.
5. The invention of claim 3 wherein the weighted member includes a central longitudinal bore complementary to the rod such that the rod extends through the bore for/essentially free movement of the weighted member as the weighted member slides along the rod between the near position and the far position.
6. The invention of claim 5 wherein the rod includes a stop adjacent the far position for engagement with the weighted member to positively stop the weighted member upon arrival of the weighted member at the far position.
7. The invention of claim 6 wherein the weighted member has a given longitudinal length and the longitudinal distance between the handle and the stop is substantially greater than the longitudinal length of the weighted member such that movement of the weighted member from the near position toward the far position is readily observable.
8. The invention of claim 7 wherein the weighted member has a generally cylindrical external configuration including a central axis, the central axis and the central bore being coaxial with the longitudinal axis.
US08/058,456 1993-05-06 1993-05-06 Batting training device Expired - Lifetime US5360209A (en)

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Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
US08/058,456 US5360209A (en) 1993-05-06 1993-05-06 Batting training device

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US08/058,456 US5360209A (en) 1993-05-06 1993-05-06 Batting training device
CA002122538A CA2122538A1 (en) 1993-05-06 1994-04-29 Batting training device
JP6116101A JPH07132153A (en) 1993-05-06 1994-05-06 Batting training device

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CA (1) CA2122538A1 (en)

Cited By (46)

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US5577966A (en) * 1993-07-20 1996-11-26 Duran; Anthony P. Sport swing training aid
US5820438A (en) * 1996-12-24 1998-10-13 Horton, Iii; Larkin Toy bat
US6050908A (en) * 1998-05-15 2000-04-18 Muhlhausen; Harry B. Training bat
US6053828A (en) * 1997-10-28 2000-04-25 Worth, Inc. Softball bat with exterior shell
US6254498B1 (en) 1996-12-11 2001-07-03 Matthew A. Tyner Instructional device with adjustable ball-striking sleeve
US6406387B1 (en) * 2000-12-12 2002-06-18 Richard L. Ryan Baseball practice bat
US20020193187A1 (en) * 2001-06-15 2002-12-19 Bickel William George Snap Bat
US6561930B2 (en) * 2001-02-16 2003-05-13 Kenneth A. Mabry Training ball bat
US20030144089A1 (en) * 2000-12-12 2003-07-31 Richard Ryan Baseball practice bat
US20040058757A1 (en) * 2001-07-18 2004-03-25 Gray Jonathan D. Baseball batting swing training apparatus and method of using same
US20040171990A1 (en) * 1999-03-26 2004-09-02 Dennis William G. Surgical instrument seal assembly
US20040224801A1 (en) * 2003-05-08 2004-11-11 Forsythe Paul D. Baseball bat with replaceable barrel
US20040224802A1 (en) * 2003-05-08 2004-11-11 Forsythe Paul D. Reconfigurable ball bat and method
US20050153797A1 (en) * 2004-01-12 2005-07-14 Nutter Mark E. Warm-up bat
EP1555048A2 (en) 2000-04-17 2005-07-20 Explanar (Holdings) Limited Golf training apparatus
US6949036B2 (en) * 2000-11-07 2005-09-27 Baseball Marketing Ideas, L.L.C. Batting swing trainer and method
US6955610B1 (en) 2002-12-05 2005-10-18 Ketema, Llc Sports training apparatus
US7014580B2 (en) 2003-05-08 2006-03-21 Hoon/Forsythe Technologies, Llc Reconfigurable ball bat and method
US20060223656A1 (en) * 2005-04-01 2006-10-05 Libonati Michael R Ball sports training aid
US20060276275A1 (en) * 2005-06-07 2006-12-07 Wilson Sporting Goods Co. Ball bat having windows
US20060293680A1 (en) * 2004-02-27 2006-12-28 Jackson Roger P Orthopedic implant rod reduction tool set and method
US20070060421A1 (en) * 2005-08-31 2007-03-15 Distefano Benito J Apparatus and methods for improving batting skills
US20070155525A1 (en) * 2005-12-30 2007-07-05 Davenport Michael D Golf swing trainer
US20070254751A1 (en) * 2006-04-28 2007-11-01 Wilson Phil B A Practice Bat
US7297077B1 (en) 2003-12-12 2007-11-20 Robert Battaglino Bat exercise, practice, and training device
US20090025534A1 (en) * 2005-05-22 2009-01-29 Peter Gropp Device for practicing percussion instrument technique
US20090227384A1 (en) * 2008-03-07 2009-09-10 Launch Pad 39A, Llc Training device for swinging and hitting activities
US20100041500A1 (en) * 2008-08-11 2010-02-18 Whitney Charles E Bat swing training device
US20100234144A1 (en) * 2009-03-11 2010-09-16 Michael Sutlovich Baseball bat with sliding contact zone
US20100248867A1 (en) * 2009-03-26 2010-09-30 Tande Alan B Practice bat
US20110212423A1 (en) * 2008-06-24 2011-09-01 Dean Floyd D Adjustable Multi-Sensory Fly Casting Trainer and Teaching Method
USD667065S1 (en) * 2010-12-28 2012-09-11 Nicholas Bernard Cavanagh Baseball bat with lightweight padding above and below the baseball bat sweet spot
JP2013184041A (en) * 2012-03-05 2013-09-19 Uchida Hanbai System:Kk Practice swing training implement strengthening twisting return of swing
US20160206942A1 (en) * 2015-01-21 2016-07-21 Robert Frank Smith, JR. Baseball and softball pitching training aid
US9604113B2 (en) * 2014-05-31 2017-03-28 Rocky Mountain Athletics Company, LLC Athletic swing training weight and method
USD784467S1 (en) 2015-11-11 2017-04-18 Matthew M. Hess Baseball bat swing trainer
US9757634B1 (en) * 2015-05-31 2017-09-12 Rocky Mountain Athletics Company, LLC Athletic swing training device and method
USD808483S1 (en) * 2016-04-11 2018-01-23 Jonathan Wang Golf practice aid
USD821519S1 (en) * 2017-04-28 2018-06-26 Golf Tailor, Llc Golf training device
USD822137S1 (en) 2017-05-25 2018-07-03 Golf Tailor, Llc Golf training device
US20180207465A1 (en) * 2015-10-29 2018-07-26 Christopher J. KAYE Lacrosse Training Device
USD844084S1 (en) * 2017-08-11 2019-03-26 Renfroe Atletics, LLC Baseball bat
USD844728S1 (en) * 2017-10-27 2019-04-02 Golf Tailor, Llc Golf training device
US20190299075A1 (en) * 2018-03-29 2019-10-03 SweetSpot Sports LLC Baseball swing training apparatus
USD876561S1 (en) * 2014-10-06 2020-02-25 Better Baseball Texas Inc. Baseball hitting aid
US10596404B2 (en) * 2017-09-15 2020-03-24 William Wallander Compact system, method, and device for developing muscle memory, timing, and technique for use in swing sports

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Cited By (70)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US5577966A (en) * 1993-07-20 1996-11-26 Duran; Anthony P. Sport swing training aid
US6254498B1 (en) 1996-12-11 2001-07-03 Matthew A. Tyner Instructional device with adjustable ball-striking sleeve
US5820438A (en) * 1996-12-24 1998-10-13 Horton, Iii; Larkin Toy bat
US6287222B1 (en) 1997-10-28 2001-09-11 Worth, Inc. Metal bat with exterior shell
US6053828A (en) * 1997-10-28 2000-04-25 Worth, Inc. Softball bat with exterior shell
US6159116A (en) * 1997-10-28 2000-12-12 Pitsenberger; Dan S. Softball bat with exterior shell
US6050908A (en) * 1998-05-15 2000-04-18 Muhlhausen; Harry B. Training bat
US20040171990A1 (en) * 1999-03-26 2004-09-02 Dennis William G. Surgical instrument seal assembly
EP1555048A2 (en) 2000-04-17 2005-07-20 Explanar (Holdings) Limited Golf training apparatus
EP1555048B1 (en) * 2000-04-17 2014-11-05 Explanar Limited Golf training club
US6949036B2 (en) * 2000-11-07 2005-09-27 Baseball Marketing Ideas, L.L.C. Batting swing trainer and method
US6406387B1 (en) * 2000-12-12 2002-06-18 Richard L. Ryan Baseball practice bat
US20030144089A1 (en) * 2000-12-12 2003-07-31 Richard Ryan Baseball practice bat
US6561930B2 (en) * 2001-02-16 2003-05-13 Kenneth A. Mabry Training ball bat
US20020193187A1 (en) * 2001-06-15 2002-12-19 Bickel William George Snap Bat
US20040058757A1 (en) * 2001-07-18 2004-03-25 Gray Jonathan D. Baseball batting swing training apparatus and method of using same
US6984184B2 (en) 2001-07-18 2006-01-10 Gray Jonathan D Baseball batting swing training apparatus and method of using same
US20050009647A1 (en) * 2001-07-18 2005-01-13 Gray Jonathan D. Baseball batting swing training apparatus and method of using same
US6773366B2 (en) 2001-07-18 2004-08-10 Jonathan D. Gray Baseball batting swing training apparatus and method of using same
US6955610B1 (en) 2002-12-05 2005-10-18 Ketema, Llc Sports training apparatus
US20040224801A1 (en) * 2003-05-08 2004-11-11 Forsythe Paul D. Baseball bat with replaceable barrel
US6905429B2 (en) 2003-05-08 2005-06-14 Hoonforsythe Technologies Llc Baseball bat with replaceable barrel
US6875137B2 (en) 2003-05-08 2005-04-05 Hoonforsythe Technologies Llc Reconfigurable ball bat and method
US20040224802A1 (en) * 2003-05-08 2004-11-11 Forsythe Paul D. Reconfigurable ball bat and method
US7014580B2 (en) 2003-05-08 2006-03-21 Hoon/Forsythe Technologies, Llc Reconfigurable ball bat and method
US9101803B2 (en) 2003-12-12 2015-08-11 Robert Battaglino Bat exercise, practice, and training device
US20080064536A1 (en) * 2003-12-12 2008-03-13 Robert Battaglino Bat exercise, practice, and training device
US7297077B1 (en) 2003-12-12 2007-11-20 Robert Battaglino Bat exercise, practice, and training device
US20050153797A1 (en) * 2004-01-12 2005-07-14 Nutter Mark E. Warm-up bat
US7147580B2 (en) 2004-01-12 2006-12-12 Nutter Sports, L.L.C. Warm-up bat
US20060293680A1 (en) * 2004-02-27 2006-12-28 Jackson Roger P Orthopedic implant rod reduction tool set and method
US7297078B2 (en) * 2005-04-01 2007-11-20 Libonati Michael R Ball sports training aid
US7682267B2 (en) 2005-04-01 2010-03-23 Libonati Michael R Ball sports training aid
US20060223656A1 (en) * 2005-04-01 2006-10-05 Libonati Michael R Ball sports training aid
US20100105495A1 (en) * 2005-04-01 2010-04-29 Libonati Michael R Golf training aid
US20090025534A1 (en) * 2005-05-22 2009-01-29 Peter Gropp Device for practicing percussion instrument technique
US7207907B2 (en) 2005-06-07 2007-04-24 Wilson Sporting Goods Co. Ball bat having windows
US20060276275A1 (en) * 2005-06-07 2006-12-07 Wilson Sporting Goods Co. Ball bat having windows
US20070060421A1 (en) * 2005-08-31 2007-03-15 Distefano Benito J Apparatus and methods for improving batting skills
US7618328B2 (en) * 2005-12-30 2009-11-17 Davenport Michael D Golf swing trainer
US20070155525A1 (en) * 2005-12-30 2007-07-05 Davenport Michael D Golf swing trainer
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CA2122538A1 (en) 1994-11-07

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